Ramekin is thought to come from a Dutch word for "toast" or the German for "little cream."




Name

Ramekin

Variant

Ramequin, Ramekin dish.

Pronounced

(ramə kin)[RAM-ih-kihn]ræməkin

Function

English Noun

Plural

Ramekins

Hypernym

A type of dish

Purpose

Cooking

Etymology

French Ramequin from Low German ramken, diminutive of cream, circa 1706. middle Dutch rammeken (cheese dish) dialect variant of rom (cream), similar to old English ream and German rahm. Ancient French cookbooks refer to ramekins as being garnished fried bread.


Meaning

1. A food mixture, (casserole) specifically a preparation of cheese, especially with breadcrumbs and/or eggs or unsweetened pastry baked on a mould or shell.

2. With a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 oz), it is a small fireproof glass or earthenware individual dish similar in size and shape to a cup, or mould used for cooking or baking and serving sweet or savoury foods.

3. Formerly the name given to toasted cheese; now tarts filled with cream cheese.

4. A young child usually between the ages of 3 months and 11 years exhibiting a compulsion to force or "ram" their head into various objects and structures.

These days, a ramekin is generally regarded as a small single serve heatproof serving bowl used in the preparation or serving of various food dishes, designed to be put into hot ovens and to withstand high temperatures. They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface. Ramekins have more lately been standardized to a size with a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 ounce) and are now used for serving a variety of sweet and savoury foods, both entrée and desert.

They are also an attractive addition to the table for serving nuts,dips and other snacks. Because they are designed to hold a serving for just one person, they are usually sold in sets of four, six, or eight. Ramekins now are solid white, round, with a fluted texture covering the outside, and a small lip. Please bear in mind that whatever you ask for them on Internet auction sites, someone is still getting the same thing in an op shop for peanuts.

However, there are hundreds of decorative ramekins that came in a variety of shapes and sizes. They came in countless colours and finishes and many were made by our leading artists and ceramicists. My collection has ramekins with One handle only, fixed to the body at one point only. If it has no handle, it is a bowl. If it has two, it is a casserole dish. But the glory day of the Australian Studio Art ramekin is well and truly over. See some here, ask questions or leave answers.

P.S. Remember, just as real men don't eat quiche, real ramekins don't have lids or two handles. Also remember, two handles makes it a casserole dish. Also, please note If it aint got a handle, it's just a bowl.

P.P.S. To all you cretins who advertise your ramekins by associating them with "Eames" or "Eames Era". Get your hand off it, you are not kidding anyone. The Eames people have told me that they never made ramekins.

P.P.P.s To all the illiterates out there in cyberspace, just as there is no "I" in team, there is no "G" in Ramekin. I am the Rameking, they are ramekins.

If you have a set of Grandma's ramekins at the back of a kitchen cupboard, have a look through the site, maybe you will identify them. Thank-you for looking.

There are many of you out there that have knowledge of Australian pottery. Please let me know if you have anything that I can add to the notes. It is important to get the information recorded. You probably know something that nobody else does.

Please note that while your comments are most welcome, any that contain a link to another site will no longer be published.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Eric Juckert

No, I have not run out of ramekins, because Eric didn't make them as far as I know.  It is just that there is so little out there about Eric and it seems that a lot of people want to know about him.  Well, here goes.

Eric Carl Juckert was born in the working class suburb of Richmond, Victoria on the 26th of October 1918. His father George Louis Otto Carl Juckert, (1884-1957) was then a Telegraph Mechanic and his mother was Ethel May Storey  (1895-1945).  They lived at 177 Coppin St Richmond.  The name “Juckert” is German in origin.  In 1919, the family moved to 34 Fitzgibbon Crescent, Balaclava.  This was a better class of suburb in 1919 and quite expensive today.   

Eric was a prolific studio and commercial ceramic artist who began his extensive career with Una Deerbon (nee Darlot) at her studio at 5 Bray Street South Yarra in Melbourne, Victoria in 1936.  Then between 1937 and 1950 Eric set up his own business at his home at 34 Fitzgibbon Crescent, Balaclava, making a range of pottery that was sold by the Myer and David Jones department stores under the name Jacqueline.  Charles Wilton also worked with Eric at this time.  

Eric’s first advertized sales were at the height of the great depression at the 4th Floor, Bank Chambers (Centreway Arcade) 255 Collins Street Melbourne on the 8th of December 1937.  In 1939 at the start of the Second-World-War Eric, along with Charles  joined the RAAF as an Aircraftsman, he was discharged in 1946.  (To be accurate, Charles joined the Army in March 1940 then transferred to the Airforce in 1942.)  Following a number of issues with the then Commonwealth Department of Employment and National Service, the pottery closed in 1950.
  
For a time from early 1947, Eric was the proprietor of the Granthaven Gentlemans Country Home, near Healesville, Victoria.  He advertised Granthaven extensively during this year.  He also exhibited at the prestigious Kozminsky Gallery in Melbourne on the 20th of November 1947. 
  
In 1949, Eric was back in Melbourne, this time at 337a Balaclava Road Caulfield, not far from his old home in Balaclava.  The Electoral Roll lists him as being a potter.  He advertised pottery lessons from there on 29th November 1949.  This venture lasted until 1954 when he moved to Sandy Creek Road, Riddell, near Gisborne, north of Melbourne where he is listed on the electoral roll as a Farmer.  The Electoral Roll for Balaclava shows George, now a Toolmaker living with Norman and Isabel Juckert, Ethel is not there.  She died in 1945.
  
Eric traveled to England for a time and is believed to have also traveled to Mexico, although there is scant evidence of this.  On his return to Melbourne, he then set up a studio at Point Road, Grossard point, Ventnor on Phillip Island, south of Melbourne in 1959 where he continued working there until 1992. His commercial works which were mainly made with a white spatter finish are incised 'Juckert' or 'Eric Juckert' to the base.  This spatter finish was used by a number of potters, most notably Premier, Rathjen and Raynham, but Eric was not restricted to this style. 

He was a magnet for other potters and was always available for advice.  People traveled from around the world to work with him.  A selection of his work showing the wide variety of styles he produced can be seen at the local museum in Cowes, Victoria.  They are only open between 10 and 12 am on a Thursday, but you can still sneak a peek through the front window.
  
Detail from Mural showing part of Eric's gallery at Ventnor.

Eric painted a large mural in the foyer of the Cowes Cultural Centre on Phillip Island as part of the Australian Bicentennial celebration in 1988, illustrating the history of Phillip Island.  Eric died on the 4th of January 2004 at the Warley Hospital, Cowes, Phillip Island.  He is buried in the Cowes Cemetery.  He was a popular local although it appears that he never married and had no children.  The people I spoke to who knew him said that he had a pleasant personality, was friendly but became somewhat reclusive in his later years.  


Detail of Eric's home and kiln from the mural.

A beachfront reserve adjascent his home at Ventnor was named in his honour.  The Bass Shire Council said that “Short of naming a major public building or the like after him, it is hard to imagine a more appropriate recognition of Mr Juckert’s contribution to Phillip Island.”  Don't look for anything there with his name on it because you won't find anything.  Charles Wilton also worked on Phillip Island from the early 1970s until his death in 2001.

Postscript;  In “The Penguin”, the newsletter of the Phillip Island Conservation Society of June 2011, they say that “ Over much of the coastline here, residential areas are well hidden, maintaining a sense of remoteness on the beach. In stark contrast, however, is the deplorable dense block-like housing that has arisen adjacent to Grossard Point, on the land previously owned by the late artist and potter, Eric Juckert. As we walk towards the point, they are a constant reminder of regrettable planning decisions of the past.”

Never say that the Rameking doesn't go the extra mile.

4 comments:

  1. Thankyou very much for going the extra mile. You have helped fill in some gaps for me about Eric Juckert's story.
    I am a collector of his work and love the colour and textural nature of his pieces. I haven't found any ramekins under any of his production names - Juckert, Jacqueline or Epsilon . The search continues.

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  2. During the 1950s my family lived in the adjoining property to Eric Juckert, on Sandy Creek Road, Riddells Creek, Victoria. He had a small house and a nearby potting shed where he worked. I am surprised he was registered on the electoral roll as a farmer, as to my knowledge he really only did his pottery from there, and it was a relatively small piece of land.

    I remember my mother saying he would occasionally come to our house to use the phone (I don't think he had the phone on). He gave my parents a couple of pottery pieces, with the distinctive Juckert design and finish. These now are owned by my two sisters, who both own collections of Eric Juckert's work.

    --- Ross Smith

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  3. I picked up a small Juckert vase at the Eaglehawk Op Shop (Central Victoria) yesterday. It cost me $1.00. I am not a collector of anything really...but I like good design and recognise that special "something" when checking out op shops and trash, treasure & jumble sales. Goggled "Eric Juckert" and here I am. Oh by the way...I so recognise the set of ramkins that we used in my family home growing up in surburban Melbourne. Ugly as sin ... grey wish brown twiggy design... Tks Lisa / Eaglehawk, Vic. ps: Sunday ramkin dinner followed by "Tang" orange in anodised metal drinking containers. Sweet Memories

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  4. This article was very interesting. I have a much loved Eric Juckert casserole dish but didn't know much about the maker so thanks very much for putting so much wonderful information together.

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